In the afternoon, the sunshine is reflected in the small and warm coffee shop. A wide range of green plants and books in the shop are full of sunshine. Various photos, tickets and woodblock depictions on the wall are properly arranged. Outside the shop, there is a light green swing and a few simple wooden tables and chairs for consumers to drink coffee and chat.
More and more young people pass by coffee shops and smell the strong aroma. They always impulsively want to go in and have a drink. Moreover, search “coffee” on social platforms such as Douban and Weibo, and you will find that tens of thousands of coffee lovers are active in groups and topics.
In 2022, when the tea industry starts with closing stores, reducing wages and laying off workers, the cold of new consumption will gradually invade all fields, except coffee, which is still active in the vision of the public and capital. On February 25, blue bottle coffee opened its first store in Shanghai, and then manner announced on the official wechat that 200+ new stores were opened in ten cities across the country. In addition, TIMS China announced that it had obtained an additional financing of US $194.5 million. In less than a year, seesaw completed a++ round of financing and obtained hundreds of millions of yuan of capital injection
Changes in the environment have brought the domestic coffee market back to life.
From expansion to “taste is king”
This year, the first big news of the coffee industry came from China Post.
On February 14, the first post office coffee under China Post landed in Xiamen international trade building. After its opening, “post office coffee” has become a new online punch in place, attracting many young people and coffee lovers.
Crossover has become a new scene in the coffee industry this year. China Post and Li Ning have been involved in the competition for the domestic coffee market. It is not difficult to see that the reason why China Post and Li Ning cross-border coffee making have attracted so much attention is that they both have a huge offline system as a support, and the stores or outlets all over the country naturally provide them with a landing scene.
Coffee brands are also accelerating their expansion. They are well aware of the key role of the offline system in the “war situation”. In 2021, manner started to open stores. In October, there were about 300 stores, with an average of 1.25 stores a day. By February this year, manner alone had more than 360 stores in Shanghai. Tims is also opening stores against the trend. According to the plan, an average of 1.2 new stores will be opened every day, and 800 stores will be opened this year.
Fabien Simon, CEO of peet’scoffee, said at the performance meeting, “we once had the ambition to open 150 stores. Seeing that the goal of 2021 is nearly half completed, we know how much we have accelerated.”
When coffee first came into China, it is often associated with high-end and business, and the consumer population is quite limited. Now coffee shops are quietly spreading out in every corner of the city. Coffee has become a drink that the public can buy everywhere. Even the integration of takeaway and coffee allows consumers to enjoy the aroma of coffee without leaving home.
The consumption trend of taking out from the cache has helped domestic coffee break the “third space” of Starbucks, and the crazy speed of opening stores has enabled new coffee brands to quickly occupy the consumption minds of young people. However, in addition to the mainstream competition of large-scale expansion, new trends have also begun to appear. The diversification and socialization of coffee have greatly improved consumers’ experience and met their richer needs, which seems to mean that the competition of coffee track will enter a new stage – the competition for flavor.
For young people, the invitation to a cup of coffee has almost become their “social currency”. Every afternoon, you can buy coffee together or bring coffee to friends and colleagues. You can quickly get closer to the people around you and chat. You can also sit down in the coffee shop and chat. What kind of coffee you drink is usually one of the topics of chat.
For example, the very popular raw coconut this year, you can see the combination of raw coconut and coffee in the menu of any coffee brand: Ruixing raw coconut latte, TIMS coffee white peach raw coconut latte, convenience bee “sleepless sea sober Hi” raw coconut latte, loop coffee raw coconut dirty… “I have been not used to American, latte, mocha and other classic coffees, but now various flavors of coffee have aroused my enthusiasm for coffee”, This is generally the case with many young consumers.
The expansion of stores provides a consumption scene for young people. For a long time, the scene is more important than the product, which is caused by Starbucks’ absolute position in the coffee industry. Nowadays, the dispute over flavor is bringing the value of coffee back to the product itself.
Dirty coffee, let the public really accept the localized coffee?
Oranges, coconut milk, Osmanthus fragrans, chestnuts, lychees… From a cup of coffee, we can taste more rich flavor. The integration of these seasonal products with coffee is also releasing novel and diversified taste for coffee, attracting more young people to taste it. As a result, the status of Italian and American coffee brands began to shake, and the product structure of domestic coffee brands gradually changed.
If we want to trace the origin of creative coffee, we have to mention the popular dirty coffee.
About 2019, in wudaoying Hutong, Beijing, a customer asked for a cup of “milk coffee without ice but with cold drink”, and the barista tried to make it with ice milk and espresso. After he made the coffee, he found that the whole coffee surface was covered with thick espresso grease, and the coffee liquid slowly flowed to the milky white Iced Milk in the lower layer, as if the coffee liquid “polluted” the white milk. It was such a wonderful accident that the dirty wind blew into the coffee field and became popular in various cafes.
It is not difficult to make a cup of dirty coffee. The key is the stratification formed by temperature contrast and density difference. Pour an appropriate amount of ice milk into the white cup, put the ice milk directly on the coffee machine, and let the extracted espresso slowly flow into the cup. After layering and tasting, consumers can obviously feel that the taste changes from thick to light, from mellow to sweet.
That’s why dirty coffee has quickly become a star product in coffee shops once it was launched.
However, not all ice milk can form a good layer. The density of milk must be higher than that of espresso to better layer and slow down its fusion. At that time, many coffee shops were very troubled about this. After several attempts, they failed to find a very suitable purified milk. Against this background, the whole coffee industry urgently needs a standard milk that can meet dirty. Coincidentally, a company named Bing Ru quickly launched its own ice bock milk at this time. Many baristas tried ice bock before solving this problem.
Bingbock milk further upgrades the taste of dirty coffee. Compared with ordinary milk, it can better stimulate the aroma of coffee, and the coffee made from bingbock with higher protein content and more mellow taste is dense. The coffee and tea industry used to rely on “light milk, condensed milk, cream” and “additives, stabilizers and preservatives” to produce a mellow taste. Now it only needs a bottle of ice bock. This breakthrough has also subverted the industry’s understanding of milk raw materials.
Nowadays, bingbock has almost become the standard for making dirty coffee. With the integration of coffee and tea, this creative wind has spread to the entire beverage consumption market, and it has become more vigorous under the promotion of the new consumption wave represented by new drinks in the past two years. For example, peet’s coffee launched the ice bock Piccolo latte, seesaw coffee developed the special drink cream walk with ice Bock, and a osmanthus flavor dirty in the manner store is popular with young people
From the perspective of the whole industry, the localized taste creativity represented by dirty coffee and the expanding offline cafes in China “go both ways” to push more new products to young consumers. With the expansion of the market, more and more products such as purified milk and thick milk have become innovative raw materials for dirty coffee. The coffee industry has gradually formed a stable industrial chain from the supply side to the consumer side. This stable industrial chain will drive the new development of relevant industries and enterprises, and stimulate more innovation in the coffee industry.
Bingbock also benefited from the popularity of dirty coffee and “broke the circle” at an amazing speed. According to Biru, its bingbock has covered nearly 10000 coffee and tea stores in China. Moreover, bingbock has gradually moved towards more consumption scenarios such as bakeries and convenience stores.
Local coffee energizes the global market
Dirty coffee originated in China, but foreign social platforms such as ins have made great contributions to the popularity of dirty coffee, so that many people subconsciously believe that the idea of dirty coffee was introduced into China from overseas.
For a long time, the traditional classic coffee represented by American style, latte and cappuccino has occupied the mainstream of the coffee market. However, in China, the domestic coffee brands represented by Ruixing are making Starbucks lose ground step by step. These local coffee brands have set off waves of taste waves, changing our coffee consumption habits. In the longer term, can Chinese creative coffee go global after gradually conquering the domestic market?
Dirty coffee, which is popular all over the world, is actually a good reference. In the past 200 years, coffee has experienced three waves in Europe and the United States and other economically developed countries and regions. The whole market has already entered a relatively mature stage of development, and the penetration rate has also reached a very high level. In the context of the gradual reduction of growth space, some industry problems have emerged.
Taking Japan as an example, the penetration rate of coffee in Japan reached 89% in 2012 and 90% in 2016. However, the growth rate of coffee consumption in Japan is mainly driven by the middle-aged and elderly people aged 40 and above. The penetration rate of coffee and the number of cups consumed by young users under the age of 39 show a negative growth. According to the data, from 2002 to 2016, the penetration rate of coffee among young users aged 18-39 and the amount of coffee consumed per week showed a downward trend.
The attraction of coffee to young people is declining, which is a common problem faced by coffee markets in Europe, America, Japan and South Korea. On the one hand, whether it is instant coffee or fine coffee, the types of coffee are still limited to traditional coffee such as American coffee and latte. Young people who like to try new things are easy to get tired of coffee; On the other hand, homogenization is also reflected in the atmosphere, service and experience of coffee shops, which also makes coffee gradually lose young people.
From the perspective of coffee consumption scenario in Japan, consumption in cafes and other catering service places accounts for the lowest proportion, and has a significant downward trend in recent years.
Dirty coffee has become popular on social platforms. Obviously, it has directly hit these pain points in the global coffee market and captured the attention of a new generation of young people from the perspective of vision and taste. Moreover, dirty coffee has undergone rapid change and innovation under the stimulation of fierce domestic competition, and more flavor dirty coffee has emerged, which is more in line with the changing needs of young people.
“There has never been a place where coffee innovation is as fast as China,” said zhangzhonglun, the world champion of the Italian coffee competition and the chief manager of coco caf%ue9. For example, going to Shanghai to explore stores this month will be completely different after two months. “New things make people dizzy.”.
The domestic trend of creative coffee has made many foreign chain coffee brands feel the intuitive competitive pressure in China. In order to compete for this market increment, they are also trying to change. Meanwhile, the domestic trendy coffee culture may also be transmitted overseas with the help of foreign chain coffee brands and exported to the European and American markets in reverse.
Still take dirty coffee as an example. Influenced by the trend of dirty, international coffee giants such as peet’s coffee and Starbucks have launched their own dirty coffee in China, and then dirty coffee has appeared in more markets.
It is worth mentioning that with the trend of creative coffee in China flooding the world, local coffee raw materials have also been directly recognized. For example, coconut milk, purified milk, coconut drinks and dirty coffee have become popular in China in the past two years, driving the growth of industries related to coconut milk, purified milk and other raw materials. These raw materials are all from China, and may also be an important part of the reverse export of China’s coffee industry and culture in the future.
In fact, whether it is local coffee brands, products or raw materials, the activity and competition of China’s coffee industry has injected new vitality into the global coffee industry. As an imported product, after integrating Chinese characteristics, it is facing the world with a new look, and at the same time, it is also feeding and reshaping the global coffee industry with the strength of localization.
Who can seize this opportunity may face a broader market in the future.
Looking back at the development of coffee, we did not expect that today our country will become the core “main battlefield” of the global coffee industry. This is not just a single competition for new markets by coffee brands, but as a variable, new markets are also changing the whole industry. In the future, new products, models or trends will continue to transform the coffee industry.
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